HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont reported his administration will be delivering an additional $40 million to Connecticut’s acute care hospitals to support their ongoing work responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funding, which comes from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, will be distributed to non-governmental, short-term general hospitals that meet certain requirements based on applicable costs and expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic. It supplements the more than $980 million direct federal funding received by the hospitals to date during the pandemic.
“This funding recognizes the frontline role Connecticut’s hospitals and their dedicated employees have played throughout this pandemic,” Gov. Lamont said. “It is not an overstatement to say that this role has been heroic and continues to be indispensable as we all work together to defeat the virus.
“Our hospitals have needed to adapt to new protocols and infection control measures, while also ceasing elective procedures during the crest of the first wave of Covid-19, which had the effect of increasing costs and decreasing revenues, not to mention the physical, mental and emotional toll this pandemic has taken on their staff.
“While these hospitals have received direct federal aid during this crisis, some of them and their affiliated practices are still experiencing financial hardship. This $40 million will help those providers through this difficult time and recognizes the critical work and dedication they have demonstrated.”
“Our hospitals continue to provide care and support to Connecticut patients and their loved ones under circumstances of unprecedented risk and challenge,” Dr. Deidre Gifford, commissioner of the Department of Social Services and acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health, said. “Hospitals and their dedicated staff have not only protected the lives and health of many thousands of Connecticut residents during the public health emergency, they have also been excellent partners in a continuum of care that includes the transition of patients to Covid recovery facilities and their homes.
“Hospitals also provide crucial ongoing support to residents of all ages served by Connecticut HUSKY Health. We have worked with many hospital partners to ensure adequate testing throughout the pandemic, and are collaborating now on a robust and equitable vaccine program. Their continued participation and support in these efforts is critical.”
As part of the agreement, the hospitals must report their eligible costs to the Department of Social Services. Once cost information has been received and reviewed, the agency will begin issuing reimbursements on a weekly, rolling basis. The hospitals may seek reimbursements only for federally permissible categories of documented costs related to Covid-19.
In addition, the hospitals will be required to allocate at least 15 percent of their Coronavirus Relief Fund payments to eligible physician groups or ambulatory surgical centers that are enrolled in Connecticut’s Medicaid program and are formally affiliated with the hospital to target some of the reimbursement for Covid-related costs specifically for providers who are supporting Connecticut residents, including Medicaid members, in continuing to access primary care and support with chronic conditions, both in person and via telehealth.
If the 15 percent presents a hardship (defined as FFY 2020 deficit for the hospital after all relief), a hospital may request waiver or modification of the threshold. On an ongoing basis, hospitals will be required to provide monthly reports to the Office of Policy and Management and Department of Social Services detailing receipt of other federal Covid-19 relief funds that were received directly by the hospital to avoid multiple reimbursement for the same expenses.